Scottish Newsbrands Contribute £217m to Scottish Economy

Scottish newsbrands contribute £217 million to the Scottish economy, new research by Optimal Economics shows.

The research was part of presentation to around 100 guests including MPs, MSPs and news media industry representatives at a reception in Westminster hosted by Callum McCaig MP on behalf of the Scottish Newspaper Society yesterday.

SNS director John McLellan’s presentation included top line findings from research projects looking  at key industry themes including readership, decision makers’ attitudes, advertising effectiveness, and the new economic impact study.

Headline findings include  the fact that 4.1 million people use a Scottish paper at least once a month and readers expect to see public information in newspapers. Seventy three per cent of respondents said they expected to see public notices in the local newspaper. 

The Optimal Economics survey found that the news media industry contributes £217 million annually to the Scottish economy and the industry supports 4,300 jobs.

Research from RAM found that 76 per cent  of people agree that Scottish newsbrands keep them involved in what’s happening in my local community and 71 per cent agree that new brands address issues of special concern to them.

Seventy-two per cent of people agree that Newsbrands make people  feel knowledgeable about current affairs while 70 per cent agree that newsbrands are the best place to find out about decisions made by my local authority.

More than nine in 10 people in Scotland interact with newspaper brands at least once a month. 

John McLellan said: “This new data proves what we in the Scottish news industry have always known; that our companies make a huge contribution to the Scottish economy, that our publications are trusted by the public and decision-makers alike and are more widely read than anywhere in the UK.

“It’s very easy, not to say lazy, to view the position of news publications only through the distorted prism of hard copy sales and our research shows that our continuing relevance to national and local life is beyond doubt.

“Crucially, it demonstrates that the public expects to see important local information, like road closures and election details, advertised in newspapers and their disappearance would represent a serious undermining of what remains a vital means of communication in communities across the country.”